By Lincoln G. Peters
The Copyright Society of Liberia (COSOL), has climaxed a three-day intensive knowledge-sharing exercise with major players in the sector.
The exercise was carried out in an effort to rebrand Liberia’s creative sector with the purpose of adding value to the works of creative Liberians as well as protecting their intellectual properties for economic benefits.
COSOL is the secretariat within the Copyright Department of the Liberia Intellectual Property Office (LIPO). COSOL is headed by Executive Director, Prince Emmanuel Decker.
The three-day knowledge-sharing exercise was held at a local hotel in Monrovia from April 4-6, 2022, and brought participants from the arts sector, mostly authors/publishers, and performers/producers.
They were provided simple knowledge on how to benefit from their creative intelligence by giving COSOL, the Collective Management Organization, the authority to protect their intellectual property and collect royalty on their behalf.
Established in 2009 through regulation, COSOL serves as the Collective Management Organization (CMO) in Liberia, which is charged with the exclusive duty of collection and distribution of royalty for all creative arts.
Since the idea of copyright came about a century ago, the system has failed to provide a specific pathway for achieving value addition in gathering benefits for Liberia’s creative sector, a story that has taken an opposite turn under the leadership of Mr. Decker.
Speaking during the stakeholder’s validation session, COSOL’s Executive Director, Decker urged players in the sector to get on board as the rebranding of Liberia’s creative sector is poised to be an aggressive transformation for the benefit of all major actors in the sector.
Drilling participants through the Administrative Regulation for Copyright License Tariff on Private Copying, LIPO/CR/LT-/2021/00006, Mr. Decker encouraged players engaged with the importation of transmittable audio and visual audio materials to obtain importation clearance from COSOL.
According to Decker, the procedure to seek clearance for the importation of transmittal material in the country is in adherence to Section 9.35 (a), (b), (c) and (d) of the 2016 Intellectual Property Act of Legislature.
He warned players in Liberia’s creative industry trading in the importation of transmittable materials to take heed as the imposition of said regulation takes immediate effect beginning this April.
In summary, day one of COSOL’s knowledge-sharing exercise with its stakeholders highlighted the procedures to obtain the issuance of Copyright Clearance, membership application (physical/online), bill issuance (physical/online) as well and fees payment-(bank/office).
Requirements for importers and license agreements for creative work producers were also made to the agenda on the day of COSOL’s eye-opener workshop with major players.
On day two of the training, Ms. Jamus P. Bannah, COSOL’s Membership Officer, led the first section providing meaningful insight into the processes, requirements, and benefits associated with COSOL’s membership status.
Ms. Bannah drilled the participants through the entire package of procedures to obtain COSOL membership and the enormous benefits attached, ranging from registration requirements, membership registration process, categories of membership, as well as the benefits of becoming a COSOL member and benefits duration.